With the Big 12 season less than three months away, here’s a look at the potential impact freshmen for each team. Recruiting rankings are based on the 247Sports Composite which calculates the average of all four major recruiting websites (247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and Scout.)
12-1 (8-1 Big 12); 1st in Big 12
2015 Team Ranking
National Rank: 42
Big 12 Rank: 7
Top Incoming Prospects
- CB Deshawn Raymond, 4-star, East Jefferson (Metairie, LA), 6-1, 190 lbs, No. 27 CB, No. 280 overall
- SDE Breylin Mitchell, 3-star, Round Rock (Round Rock, TX), 6-3, 253 lbs, No. 22 SDE, No. 386 overall
- OT Sam Awolope, 3-star, Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, TX), 6-5, 270 lbs, No. 54 OT, No. 480 overall
- ATH Tony James, 3-star, Bowie (Arlington, TX), 5-10, 151 lbs, No. 43 ATH, No. 577 overall
- WR Jarrison Stewart, 3-star, Horn (Mesquite, TX), 5-11, 172 lbs, No. 73 WR, No. 604 overall
For one of the hottest teams in the nation, you’d expect the Horned Frogs to have a stellar freshman class. But TCU didn’t have the pull during the recruiting process they have currently after sharing the Big 12 title with Baylor. Pulling together their remarkable season last season is a testament to Gary Patterson’s coaching ability. He’s never needed flashy recruits to be successful and this season doesn’t look any different.
As the lone 4-star recruit, all lights shine on cornerback Deshawn Raymond out of Louisiana. TCU lost some considerable talent in the secondary including 2nd team All-Big 12 selection Kevin White. Raymond looks to jump into one of the spots left behind by Sam Carter, Chris Hackett, and 2nd team All-Big 12 Kevin White. Even if he can’t unseat an upperclassman, he’ll be in the rotation enough consider the Big 12’s pass-happy play.
Linebacker is another position that needs some work after losing three starters this off-season, including Defensive Player of the Year, Paul Dawson. Along with Raymond, two other freshman landed on campus earlier this year for Spring practices including linebackers Alec Dunham and Mike Freeze.
Freeze is an interesting case study. He came into Spring ball as a defensive back, and came out a linebacker — a starter alongside Sammy Douglas nonetheless. Dunham can figure into the conversation as well but Freeze looks to have the backing of Patterson, believing he’s athletic and big enough to make an impact in the middle. Having essentially an extra defensive back hybrid floating around can’t hurt in a pass-heavy league. If I’m betting on a sleeper player of the year, my money’s on Freeze.
On the offensive side of the ball, there’s less attraction with the top recruit being tackle Sam Awolope out of Missouri City, TX. He has excellent skills and good height for a lineman, but at 270 lbs, he doesn’t necessarily tip the scales. He’ll be a development and if he can add muscle mass, he can be a dangerous asset to an already stout lineman group. Dual-threat quarterback Tony James is an intriguing prospect as well standing just under 5-10 and barely registering on the scale at 150 lbs. Considering how Patterson’s Trevone Boykin project worked out, it will be interesting to see how James evolves in this TCU offense.
This freshman class may lack top-tier talent but there’s enough to keep the ship afloat. The future looks bright in Fort Worth, leading the 2016 recruiting board with six 4-star recruits already lined up — more than they’ve had in the past decade. Just imagine what Patterson can do with that talent, the Big 12 doesn’t want to think about that.